Dragon Ball Super is a sort of reboot of one of Dragonballs most popular movie villains and their attempt to bring him into canon, or to bring him into the main Dragon Ball story. The latter Broly movies in the Z series were not as good as the original and, for me, the character lost his punch. Rebooting him seemed a good idea, as they could erase past mistakes and possibly give this character more justice.
The premise of Broly was an interesting one too, he was called the ‘Legendary Super Saiyan’ and in the original film defeated our heroes, finally succumbing to Goku (as is usual with Dragonball). The second movie sees Broly land on earth and eventually challenge, and lose, to Goten and Gohan. The third film sees Broly’s blood used to create a ‘Bio-Broly’ and is finally destroyed for good, ending the trilogy of Broly’s movies with a pretty forgettable film.
When it comes to Super, the animation was quite mixed and when it comes to Dragonball it hasn’t always been a particularly interesting anime. I enjoyed Super but I also know that a lot of it was just pure nostalgia. Though the animation is certainly better than back in the day and I really enjoyed the first /second Broly movie, so it had enough ingredients to make me relatively interested. The trailer drew me right in and looked absolutely incredible, I was still a bit iffy but I was finally excited having seen the animation looked incredible.
So how did I feel after I saw the film? WOW! This film delivered a lot more than I ever expected it to. There was so much I loved about it and when it comes to anime movies (not just Dragonball) it was probably the best I’ve EVER seen. In the last few weeks, I’ve seen the My Hero and Seven Deadly Sins movies and both of those pale in comparison to this. I’m so excited to go into detail about the positives, so here we go…
The first thing I enjoyed about the movie was that they fleshed Broly out as a character very well. We know the Z-warriors stories, so they didn’t need much early screentime. They used the early part of the movie to explain why Broly wasn’t on planet Vegeta during its destruction (more on that later) and even used that early instance to explain just how powerful he is. It also explains how Raditz, Nappa and Vegeta were not on the planet too. So it integrated a lot of the history into the canon which allows them to build on or explore it more in the future. They may not choose to go down this route, but at least if they do, they’ve set a foundation for it.
The next positive would be the fusion which I was so happy to see. I thought during the tournament of power that we would see Gogeta make his debut in the canon, but I was disappointed when it didn’t happen. Turns out they were saving it for this and WHAT AN INTRODUCTION! He was so awesome and Broly was so powerful that a fusion was needed between Goku and Vegeta (whom I think was also awesome in the film). The fusion was perfect, not just because it was cool to see, but it helped show people how strong Broly is and how strong Gogeta really is.
The fighting in this was also so solid. Often I’ve complained when watching Dragonball Super that all these cool fights just happen to fast. We get lots of teleportation, useless energy blast spam and it just becomes all a bit too much to follow. This was a very different story though because the action was slower but still had the same impact we expect from Dragonball. I much prefer this approach and I admit it’s not the usual Dragonball way but I also think they do the fights a disservice by not slowing certain fights down. A* for the change of pace.
There’s only one negative that I can think of and that is how much they really butchered the whole Saiyan destruction. Granted that the only information that we had was briefly from Vegeta/Freiza and the Bardock movie, which I really enjoyed, it just seems like they really ruined it. It seemed like a part of the movie they went through quite quickly. That was about all that I found disappointing but in the grand scheme of things I can’t complain that much.
I have to say that this is 100% the best Dragonball movie there has been. I really loved Fusion Reborn but the quality of the animation and the overall better fight scenes make this the winner. The animation is spectacular, the story line is very solid (despite it changing a lot of what I enjoyed about the Bardock special) and they put a lot of effort into making the fight scenes easier to follow. What I loved most about the fight scenes was that instead of just getting lots of flashes, we got fleshed out, quick, hard hitting fights that still had the Dragonball feel to them. This set the precedent for anime films for me and toppled My Hero Academia and Seven Deadly Sins.